Bendy Bendini, cabaret, circus, contortion, festival, Joe Black, Kotiri Tent, outdoors, Sam Wills, songs, tent, Tony Roberts, Village Green
This weekend, in the sweltering heat of our glorious four day summer (so far, I’m crossing my fingers for more,) I took my beautiful miniature circus tent, The Kotiri Tent, out for a jaunt to a local festival.
Run by a company called Metal, Village Green Festival has been running for four years and is going from strength to strength each year. A fantastic combination of music, art, dance and community and all for free, it is a huge asset to the community here in South East Essex. Since we lost the Southend Airshow, (a daft decision by a stunningly short-sighted council), Village Green is a chance for the local community to get together and celebrate the local arts scene, which is thriving if this marvellous little festival is anything to go by.
It’s always lovely to get our dinky little top out and once we remember how to erect her (we always forget to write instructions and much like an Ikea wardrobe, there are always nuts and bolts left at the end!), she’s a real peach with a warm and welcoming atmosphere for 20 people. Especially warm, when the thermometer goes way up the way it did on Saturday, hitting 30 in the sun.
On the bill we had the nefarious Joe Black, contortion man Bendy Bendini, our spruiker Sam Wills and me, the tent mistress presiding over all and singing songs. We also had street performance maestro, Tony Roberts, who did some killer circle shows to very appreciative, and enormous, crowds.
The audiences were just fantastic. Friendly, open minded, broad spectrum’d and as the afternoon progress, beautifully lubricated by the beer and pimms. We even had a visit from Bismarck, who was riding in my son’s Silver Cross pram.
By the time we had each spruiked, barked and cajoled audiences into buying tickets and done four shows each, we were all exhausted, hoarse and more than a little sticky. Someone of my northern hemisphere skin type doesn’t cope well in the sun, I’m fine between 20 and 23 degrees on a cloudy day!! In fact, in weather like this, I prefer to operate under the cover of darkness!
After we’d finished, we wandered back to chez moi for a well deserved pimms and a BBQ and a chance to debrief, not literally though as we sadly lack a pool! Today, Joe and Bendini made at least 11th page news!
The Village Green Festival was a complete joy and we are already talking about how to top it next year, I’m thinking maybe a full size circus tent. I do hope it is still free for the community next year, although they do need donations to keep running it this way. So if you enjoyed Village Green 2013, show your appreciation. You can text ‘VGFR33 £3’ to 70070 to donate £3, imagine if all of the 30,000 people who came through the gates did that, it would make next year’s festival the one to be at. It’s in your hands, my darlings, it’s your festival, support it.